Instead of feeling like you’ve got to create and stick to a rigid new schedule–which can be intimidating–it can be helpful to think about finding a new rhythm instead. Because transitions are wonky–sometimes they feel too fast and like your hair is blowing back, and sometimes it’s like they’ve gotten stuck in neutral, and you’re revving your engine but not getting to more stable ground any faster. You need an adaptable approach that’s going to help you feel successful even when life gets chaotic.
You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.
Listen to the Podcast Here
Once in my life when I was doing my coaching training, which required several hours a week of class time, in addition to client work and my kids were little I got really super organized and made a color coded spreadsheet broken down in to half-hour increments that showed when I’d do what and tried to decide when I was going to do all the things I wanted to do. And guess what–if something took longer or something else entirely came up and I diverted from that gorgeous grid, I felt like a failure.
So now, I think of creating a helpful routine like a song
A song has a dependable and definable rhythm that is also modifiable. For example, the rhythm of a song can change subtly between the verses and the chorus. AND it can also accommodate a guitar solo, or it can shift into something completely different for a short amount of time, like the bridge.
So, if your fall routine were a song–what is it’s rhythm during the verses, which are, for most of us with a traditional work and school schedule, the weekdays, and what’s the chorus, the fun upbeat and shorter part that are more like the weekends?
And then, when you have a super busy couple of days it can be like your guitar solo, and even though you may feel like things have gone off the wheels you know that the rhythm you’ve established all the other days will be there, waiting for you, when the shredding s over.
Of course, if you’re a parent, your rhythm will be fairly dependent on your kids’ schedules.
I typically love to get up before the rest of the house and have 20 minutes plus of quiet time to have a cup of tea and read or meditate or play Boggle, but when my daughter had to be at school last year at 7:25, and she was on an every other day schedule, it was really really hard to a) get up earlier than her and b) find a rhythm when our schedule changed every other day.
This year, now that both kids are going to the same school every day and school starts at 7:55, that means from 6:30 – 7:30, I’m in the mom zone. Then I’ve got 45 minutes of quiet time to take care of me, and then by 8:15 or 8:30 I can start work. Take the dog on a walk around 12:30. Be available for any after school schlepping that needs to happen from 3ish to 4 ish.
Another hour and a half of work before starting dinner around 5:45 so we can eat by 6:30, which is what we need to do so that everyone has about two hours between dinner and bed time to do what they need to; homework, read, chat with friends. And a quick last-call walk with the dog at 9 with kids ready for bed by 9:30 That routine is my verse.
Saturdays tend to be my guitar solo
As they are usually kind of nuts, running errands, doing chores, taking kids to classes, and saving time for something fun. Sundays are like the chorus–yoga in the mornings, reading a little paper, watering the plants, cooking in the afternoons, making an early and big dinner so that we’ll have some leftovers for the week.
I share that in the hopes that it’s interesting–I am always intrigued to hear how other people do things and when their kids go to bed, lol.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to think about what your basic rhythm is. What time do you get up, and what do you generally do in the mornings? When do you do your best work, when do you tend to need a break from work? What days of the week tend to be your most productive, and when is a natural time in your week to take care of non-brain-intensive things?
And what day of the week tends to be your guitar solo, when you know that it’s just going to be kind of nuts but that you can get back to a steadier rhythm the next day?
And just for fun, if you had to pick a theme song for fall, what would it be? Would it be something mellow, or upbeat? An old standard, or something new and exciting?
Me, I want something fairly predictable, like maybe something kind of electronic or disco. There’s this one song that always comes on when we’re in my husband’s car called Ride It by DJ Regard. You can Google it. And if YOU come up with a theme song for fall, I would love to har it! Email me at beabetterpersonpodcast.com, or DM met on Instagram at katehanleyauthor.